Home Workplace News Manitoba mandates accessibility standard for public sector information and communication

Manitoba mandates accessibility standard for public sector information and communication

by HR Law Canada

The Manitoba government has announced a new mandate requiring public sector organizations in the province to enhance accessibility in information and communication. Families Minister Nahanni Fontaine, who is also responsible for accessibility, made the announcement, emphasizing the need for accessible digital and print media, as well as technology and personal interactions.

“Manitobans should not face barriers when accessing information,” Fontaine stated. She highlighted that the new accessible information and communication standard aims to “identify, reduce, and remove barriers for everyone,” including the approximately one-third of Manitobans living with a disability.

Starting May 1, public sector bodies must comply with this new regulation under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA). The regulation builds on the Human Rights Code and introduces several requirements:

  • Adherence to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at a minimum level AA for websites and web content;
  • Provision of information in accessible formats or through communication supports upon request;
  • Development of a feedback process and the implementation of policies to boost accessibility;
  • Mandatory accessibility training for relevant employees;
  • Specific measures to support the acquisition of accessible library resources and educational materials.

Fontaine also mentioned the availability of an online training module through the Manitoba Accessibility Office’s AMA learning portal, which provides guidance on compliance, best practices, and other resources, all presented in plain language.

This regulation is the third standard introduced under the AMA.

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